“You heard testimony from two murderers from the seamier side of the city that you maybe don’t want to know,” she announces.
“Think about the culture you’re hearing from, this culture of violence, this culture of guns … he told Jacobs what he did because ‘I wanted to be respected’ … They thought they could turn Philadelphia into Dodge City, where they could just get bigger guns.”
The jury finished deliberating by 2 p.m. the next day.
The court officer issues a warning to the victim’s side. “The verdict is coming in,” he says. “There should be no reaction.”
A guy thumbing through his cell phone doesn’t even glance up. “Can’t promise you none,” he says.
“Well you have to,” responds Fairman. “Or else the sheriffs will march in.”
About a dozen friends and family are there for each side. Campfield’s side is dead quiet but the family and friends of Nasir and Robinson are a bit rowdy. They’ve been dealing with their losses for five years already.
Life after death
The jury files in and Campfield stands to face them, his arms at his side. He cocks his head back, and squints down his cheeks.
The jury foreman, a schoolteacher, stands.
“In the matter of murder in the first degree, guilty,” he begins and with that, one sharp high-pitch cry cracks then disintegrates into muffled sobs. The jury finds Campfield guilty of the two murders, the attempted murder of Elbert Tolbert and related charges.
Sentencing happens right away: Two life sentences to be served consecutively plus more for the attempted murder and assorted charges.
Campfield’s sister erupts again.
“My brother didn’t do that shit!” she yells at the judge, then clamors over her mother and grandmother and flees the room as Judge DeFino-Nastasi’s orders her out.
When everybody calms down, DeFino-Nastasi asks Campfield if he understands the verdict.
“Yeah, I understand,” he says with a defiant smile. The judge asks Campfield if he would like to address the court.
“Thank you,” he says. He nods toward the jury and then the whole room. “Thank you all. Thank you everybody.”
As the sheriff escorts him back to his cell, Campfield turns his head and addresses onlookers. He smiles and nods. “I’ll be back,” he says.
PW's Music Issue 2014